Newcastle United have called for a change in the rules after the Football Association said they were unable to punish Wigan Athletic forward Callum McManaman for the tackle that saw Massadio Haidara stretchered off when the sides met in the Premier League, Sky
No free-kick was given by referee Mark Halsey, who later told Alan Pardew he did not see the full extent of the tackle – a knee-high, studs-showing challenge from 21-year-old McManaman. But Halsey’s report on the match indicated that at least one of the team of officials saw the incident, and the FA subsequently released a statement confirming that the rules agreed upon by all clubs at the start of the season meant retrospective action could not be taken in those circumstances.
Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias released a statement in reply in which he said: “It is clear from this decision that the current disciplinary procedures are not fit for purpose.
“Newcastle United, along with other clubs, have had players suspended for incidents reviewed after the game. Whilst not trivialising these incidents, they were not, in our opinion, of the seriousness of McManaman’s tackle on Haidara.
“Whilst we understand that the current procedures give the FA limited options, it cannot be correct that the most serious offences can go unpunished, even if the original incident was seen by match officials.
“We will now be making a strong representation to the FA and the Premier League to see how a more appropriate, fair and even-handed disciplinary process can be introduced at the earliest opportunity.”
It is not yet know the extent of any damage suffered by Haidara in the tackle, with Llambias adding that no timescale has been put on when the French defender could potentially return to action.
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